Ty Herndon, Country Singer, Comes Out as Gay: “I Get to Be Free Today”

Ty Herndon
Country singer Ty Herndon came out as gay on Nov. 20, telling Entertainment Tonight, "I get to be free today" Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Ty Herndon is, as Kacey Musgraves would say, following his arrow. On Thursday, Nov. 20, nearly two decades after he first came to fame with the No. 1 hit single "What Mattered Most," the 52-year-old country singer publicly came out as gay in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.

Asked by ET correspondent Nischelle Turner to reveal the biggest lie he'd ever told himself — a reference to his 2013 album Lies I Told Myself — Herndon replied, "That I couldn't be gay and be in country music. I've dreamed about being in country music since I was 6 years old. It's my life, it's what I do, it's who I am, and I went to great lengths to cover up that fact to be a country star." 

The "Living in a Moment" chart-topper went on to tell ET that he's been in "an awesome relationship" with a man for several years. "I love him very much, and he loves me," Herndon said, joking that he hoped his not-yet-revealed partner would propose "right after this interview."

The Nashville vet was married twice before, "to some really amazing young ladies," he told ET, adding that they "absolutely" knew about his sexuality. "I had a lot of people around me that I trusted at [the] time, and I was like, 'Hey, you know this about me but the world doesn't. So I'm gonna need to call on your services for a little while,'" he explained.

No longer. Citing Musgraves' LGBT-friendly tune "Follow Your Arrow," which won Song of the Year at the 2014 CMAs, Herndon told Turner, "Traditionally in country music, we don't see a lot of support for the LGBT community, but that's changing so much…It gives me a lot of hope that Nashville is ready for this. I get to be free today. I'm born again today, and I feel like I'm not gonna have any trouble sleeping tonight."

For more from Herndon, tune into Entertainment Tonight on Nov. 20.

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